FIRE-PLAGUED COMPANY PAYING $93,250 TO SETTLE WITH DEP
FOR HAZARDOUS-WASTE VIOLATIONS
(07/18) TRENTON - A New Jersey manufacturer of hair-care
products has agreed to pay $93,250 to settle hazardous-waste violations
stemming from a series of fires likely sparked by improperly stored
chemicals, Department of Environmental Protection Commissioner Lisa
P. Jackson announced today.
Before finalizing the settlement, the DEP required Hair Systems
Inc. to improve waste-handling procedures at its facility in Englishtown
Borough, Monmouth County, and to properly train employees to help
prevent more fires in the future.
"The action we've taken rectifies the risky handling and storage
of chemicals that, we believe, caused more than a dozen fires at
this facility in recent years," Commissioner Jackson said.
"Hair Systems should now be well on its way to running a safer,
Hair Systems uses potassium persulfate and sodium persulfate in
the manufacture of bleaches, dyes, perm kits and other reactive
The DEP's environmental inspectors and members of the state Division
of Criminal Justice's Environmental Crimes Unit, acting on information
from an Englishtown fire official and the Monmouth County Health
Department, executed a search warrant at the facility in January
Environmental lawmen found various violations of hazardous-waste
regulations, including chemicals being stored near incompatible
materials and numerous containers of hazardous chemicals left open
The Division of Criminal Justice, after conducting an investigation
with the Monmouth County Prosecutor's Office, concluded there was
no basis for criminal prosecution of Hair Systems Inc. However,
as part of a settlement agreement with the Division of Criminal
Justice, the company early this year agreed to take steps to reduce
the number of fires at the facility. Those measures included hiring
an environmental consultant and retaining an engineer to fully assess
climate-control issues within the facility. Further, the company
agreed to pay $25,000 to Englishtown Fire Company, which had responded
repeatedly to fires at Hair Systems, for the purchase of new equipment.
DEP environmental inspectors had cited the facility for failing
to: mark containers and tanks as hazardous waste, ensure employee
familiarity with proper waste handling and emergency procedures,
use storage containers lined with materials that do not react with
hazardous waste, and properly close all stored hazardous-waste containers.
Violations also included the facility's failure to inspect container
storage areas and its failure to minimize the possibility of fire,
explosion or other event that might release hazardous waste and
threaten public health or the environment.